Fizz Free February is nearly upon us, and while sugar-reduction is pushed as the main incentive for giving up fizzy drinks for a month, you might want to consider this before taking up the challenge...
Firstly, the most obvious way of approaching Fizz Free Feb is often to switch to sugar-free or no added sugar drinks, but this - many nutritionists would argue - is just replacing a sugar-shaped problem, with an aspartame-shaped one!
Since the sugar tax implementation of 2018, aspartame has been introduced into the ingredients of many, many soft drinks... probably more than we realise. Sadly, even the non-light versions of cordials and soft drinks now often contain this chemical sweetener (Ribena!!).
Given that aspartame is thought to actually perpetuate a sweet tooth (not to mention interfere with metabolism) these drinks are not necessarily the solution to ‘Fizz Free Feb’, let alone healthy living, that they’re widely believed to be.
The second issue with the ‘Fizz Free February’ idea, is that it’s not the ‘fizz’ per se which is necessarily the issue. Sparkling water, for example, can be enjoyed as part of a healthy diet without any significant risk factors.
The bottom line, therefore, is that there might (might!) just be a better way to reduce sugar intake in February, and going forward, than going 'fizz free.'
First and foremost, plain water (sipped regularly) should be everyone’s go to for hydration, 90% of the time! This goes without saying.
Within this framework, however, does lie a small margin for enjoying ‘fizzy drinks’, just NOT as we traditionally know them.
For example, Elm Spring Sparkling water, when made with the smallest quantity of natural cordial, is one way of getting the occasional soft drink experience, and in a way that aligns with the principles of balance, variety and moderation, without risking exposure to the kind of chemicals which might disturb this very equilibrium.
When we say ‘natural cordial’, we’re referring to the brands who haven’t traded in sugar for aspartame, including Rocks, Belvoir and Bottlegreen, to name but a few.
Enjoyed in moderation, as part of an overall balanced diet, these sugar-containing cordials are not necessarily the antithesis of Fizz Free February that they’re purported to be.
In fact, a little of what you fancy (as opposed to a sugar free substitute) might in fact carry greater potential for LONG TERM moderation of sugar intake, than a 'low cal' approach to hydration which, biochemically, can make you more inclined towards certain unhealthy diet and lifestyle habits.
Yes, cutting out fizzy drinks is a great way to reduce your sugar intake on paper, but… so too is avoiding chemical ingredients which make you want the sweet stuff in the first place!
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